Diss is a market town a in Norfolk close to the border with the neighbouring East Anglian county of Suffolk, with a population of around 7,600.Diss railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line, which runs from London to Norwich.
The town lies in the valley of the River Waveney, around a mere that covers 6 acres (2.4 ha). The mere is up to 18 feet (5.5 m) deep, although there is another 51 feet (16 m) of mud.
The town takes its name from dic an Anglo-Saxon word meaning either ditch or embankment. Diss has a number of historic buildings, including an early 14th-century parish church, and a museum.
Diss was granted by King Henry I to Richard de Lucy, prior to 1135. The Testa de Neville states that it was not known whether Diss was rendered unto Richard de Lucy as an inheritance or for his service, but states that, without doubt it was for the latter. Richard de Lucy become Chief Justiciar to King Stephen and Henry II. In 1152 Richard de Lucy received the right to hold a market in Diss, and prior to 1161 he gave a third of a hundred at Diss (Heywood or Hewode) together with the market in frank marriage with his daughter Dionisia to Sir Robert de Mountenay. After Richard de Lucy’s death in 1179, the inheritance of the other two parts of the hundred of Diss passed to his daughter Maud, who married Walter FitzRobert.
Opposite the 14th-century parish church of St. Mary the Virgin stands a 16th-century building known as the Dolphin House. This was one of the most important buildings in the town. Its impressive dressed-oak beams denote it as an important building, possibly a wool merchant’s house. Formerly a pub, the Dolphin, from the 1800s to the 1960s, the building now houses a number of small businesses.
Adjacent to Dolphin House is the town’s market place, the geographical and social centre of the town. The market is held every Friday (except Good Friday and other holidays, when it is rescheduled to the preceding Thursday): a variety of local traders sell fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and cheeses. The market was first granted a charter by Richard the Lionheart. The town’s post office and main shopping street (Mere Street) are also located by the marketplace.